Newsletter – September 2013


Artistic Director’s Corner

Michael StormAs the final numbers come into view for Orlando, it is looking like one of our more successful shows. But one thing we have learned is that not a lot of people know about performances happening at the Live Oak Theatre, so we hope you will continue to help us spread the word. Audiences are growing, however, with each production. Just Theatre had a very successful run of A Maze, which helped feed the numbers on Orlando. Coming up in November is Symmetry Theatre Company; and as our audiences cross-pollinate, things will really come together nicely.

Subsequently, there is a lot going on. We are currently casting two shows. Escanaba in da Moonlight by Jeff Daniels will star Bay Area Favorites Julian Lopez-Morillas, Soren Oliver and Kevin Karrick. An absolutely outstanding cast for T1… again! We also happen to be casting for the World Premiere of Lauren Gunderson’s Fire Work, which will be the lead-off show for next season. Speaking of casting, we have brought a Casting Director on board. Caitlin McGarty of Renegade Theatre Experiment will be helping us out with this extremely vital part of the theatre’s operations. We (and especially the Artistic Director who currently handles this component) are very excited to welcome her aboard.

In addition to always being on the lookout for contractor and legal assistance, as well as adding to our outstanding board, we would like to put the word out on the street that I may soon be looking for low-cost housing closer to the theatre. If you know of anyone with an in-law unit or studio, please drop me a line ( and let me know.

As always, thank you all so much for your wonderful support of TheatreFIRST.


A Big Thank You!

As “the little boat of meaning” sails into the future, we say farewell to Orlando after a beautiful five week run. This wild ride of passion, art, sex, change and love was made all the more spectacular by the outpouring of support and the often raucous and warm audience that traveled with us. Orlando proved to be one of TheatreFIRST’s best attended shows. Thank you all for coming! Until next time, “Tee Hee! Haw Haw!”

Announcing the Soady Family of Escanaba in da Moonlight, by Jeff Daniels!

The ballots are in. Escanaba in da Moonlight, written by Jeff Daniels and directed by our very own Michael Storm has begun production with a phenomenal team.


***Behind Door Number One!***

To play the patriarch of the Soady family, Albert Soady…

He is a well-recognized and well-regarded member of the Bay Area Theatre Community having performed in every major theatre including, but surely not limited to, ACT, Berkeley Rep, Magic Theatre, Aurora, and Cal Shakes. Furthermore, while gracing the stage, he has also graced most of the classrooms throughout the Bay Area including Berkeley’s very own Cal as well as Mills, San Jose State, Foothill, and Solano Colleges. Well-known for his work as a supremely accomplished Shakespeare teacher and actor, he will continue this literary legacy with all the raunchy wit and humor of Shakespeare, just with a different accent…

He is Julian Lopez-Morillas!

***Behind Door Number Two!***

To play the youngest son of the Soady family—accomplished hunter, lover, and drinker—Remnar Soady…

He is also an accomplished Bay Area actor and Artistic Associate of TheatreFIRST, living in Fremont with his wife and son. You will surely remember him from his last shindig with us, Stones in His Pockets. Or one of his many performances at Solano Repertory Theatre, California Conservatory Theatre, Encore Theatre, or Skull in Connemara and Seafarer at B Street Theatre in Sacramento…

He is Kevin Karrick!

***Behind Door Number Three!***

To play the eldest son of the Soady family—determined to prove his prowess and do away with the last years of hunting shame by “bagging his first Buck”—Reuben Soady…

He is another Bay Area star who has acted his way across many a Bay Area stage, including, but again not limited to, Berkeley Rep, Marin Theatre Company, Magic Theatre, Aurora, Cal Shakes, and San Jose Repertory Theatre. Not only that, you will also recall him from your WB days (come on! We all had them!) as a recurring demon character on Charmed

He is Soren Oliver!


See all three of these accomplished actors as they return to the Soady Family Deer Camp for the yearly hunting season—conveniently located at the Live Oak Theatre, and presented by TheatreFIRST in Escanaba in da Moonlight starting February 7th! Tickets are on sale now, and remember we have assigned seating now.

TheatreFIRST announces its first play of the 2014-1015 Season

Those of you who frequently read FirstThingsFirst know that the first show of next season is Fire Work by Lauren Gunderson. Developed at The O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Fire Work is a 2011 winner for Aurora Theatre’s Global Age Project. We are currently casting this stunning story of war-torn love, directed by Mina Morita. You will know Mina as an active Bay Area director, particularly in Berkeley, with her work at Berkeley Rep, Shotgun Players, Impact Theatre, Berkeley Playhouse and many across the bridge as well.

Next Up at the Live Oak Theatre…

Actors Ensemble of Berkeley is pleased to present Picasso at the Lapine Agile, by Steve Martin, directed by Anna Andersen, opening October 4th.

Picasso and Einstein, each in the flowering of their youth and on the cusp of a great idea, have a chance encounter at a bar in 1904 Paris—the Lapin Agile (“Nimble Rabbit”). Encountering a host of other characters, the two leading lights of the coming century must deal not only with their own brilliance and idiosyncrasies, but with the unexpected talents brought to the party by a mysterious visitor. Steve Martin’s play delights with big ideas and big laughs. Tickets are available online via

Directed by Anna Andersen

Anna recently relocated from Los Angeles, where she directed and performed professionally, as well as wrote and directed a Shakespeare-themed educational program for Los Angeles-area schools. In recent years, she has directed a number of staged readings for Actors Ensemble (Pseudolus, Enrico IV) and for Subterranean Shakespeare.

Set Design by Norm de Veyra

Norm is fresh off a great success for Masquer’s production of Galileo, and has created numerous set designs for Actors Ensemble (Dr. Faustus, Richard III).

Featuring the talents of…

Nick Dickson as Einstein and Vince Faso as Picasso—veteran Bay Area talents who recently brought the house down for our production of Noises Off; as well as familar AE faces, Bill Chessman (Communicating Doors), Stefin Collins (A Hot Day in Ephesus), Meira Perelstein (A Hot Day in Ephesus, The Matchmaker), Rachel Ferensowicz (Arcadia), Joel Jacobs (Rock ‘n’ Roll), and newcomers Doug Boyd, Hillary Hesse, Francis Serpa, and Layne Austin.

Assistant Direction by Cameron Dodd.  Costume Design by Paula Dodd Aiello, Props by Crystal Barnes and Vicki Siegel, Set Construction by Alecks Rundell, and Lighting Design by Nathan Bogner.

See this delightful show, Fridays and Saturdays, October 4th–26th at 8 p.m. with Sunday matinees October 13th and 26th at 2 p.m. Tickets are priced at $15 regular, $12 students/seniors. Buy tickets online at or pay at the door with cash or check. For purchase at the door, reservations may be made by calling 510-649-5999. The Live Oak Theatre is wheelchair accessible through the north entrance (other side of the building from the Rec Center entrance). Box office (will call) opens a half hour before the start of the show, and the TheatreFIRST café opens one hour before curtain. Come early and have a tasty nosh with a delightful beverage. Or…just do as most do and have a brownie or a cookie!